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BEFORE I enter into a description of corporations, as altered by this statute, it may be necessary to premise
1. That by this statute (a) so much of all statutes, usages, charters, grants, and letters patent relating to the boroughs named in schedules (A) and (B) (that is to say, all the municipal corporations in England and Wales now subsisting, except London and a few others,) which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are repealed; so that these corporations are now regulated in common by the provisions of this act as far as they go, and each of these corporations is regulated in other respects by the charter or statute applicable to it, as far as such charter or statute is consistent with the provisions of this act.
2. That the King hereafter may, upon petition, grant a charter of incorporation to any town, not now incorporated; immediately upon which, the provisions of this statute shall apply to such new corporation (b).
3. That all the present mayors, aldermen, common councilmen, &c. shall go out of office, immediately after the declaration of the first election of councillors under the provisions of this act; but such of them as by office have been justices of the peace, shall continue to act as such, until the 1st May next. (c)
4. For some purposes, the present body of freemen are still to be retained and kept up; namely, for the purpose of voting for members of Parliament (d), and for the purpose of enjoying the same share of the lands, or profits thereof, and of the common lands and public stock, of the borough, and of all monies, &c. possessed by the corporation for charitable uses, which they would have enjoyed, if this act had not passed (e). And for the purpose of ascertaining what persons are entitled to such rights, the town clerk shall make out a list or roll, to be called The Freemen's Roll, containing the names of the present freemen, and of all persons
who hereafter may be admitted freemen by the mayor,
respect of birth, servitude, or marriage (f); but no freemen shall hereafter be created by gift or purchase (8). All persons now freemen or apprentices to freemen shall hereafter be exempted from tolls, &c.; but except as to them, all such exemptions are now abolished, and shall not be enjoyed by any other person in future.
5. That hereafter all exclusive right of trading, &c. within a borough, shall be deemed to be wholly abolished (h).
6. That this Act does not extend to the city of London, that not being named in the schedules (A) and (B) to the Act annexed, which comprise the names of all the cities or boroughs to which alone the statute extends. By the Act also it is provided, that it shall not interfere with his Majesty's dock-yards, &c. (i), or with the rights of Oxford or Cambridge (j), or with the jurisdiction of the Cinque ports (k), or with the jurisdiction over precincts of cathedrals (l), nor shall it affect the grammar school at Louth (m).
7. That the boundaries of the boroughs named in the 1st sections of schedules (A) and (B) to the act annexed, shall be the same as the limits thereof respectively described in the Boundary Act, 2 & 3 W. 4. c. 64. ss. 35–38, and Sch. O; but of the boroughs named in the 2d sections of the same schedules, the boundaries shall remain as they now are, until altered by Parliament (n). The boroughs of large population, comprising all those named in schedule (A), shall each be divided into the number of wards mentioned in that schedule (o), with liberty to the Revising Barristers to vary the number in some cases, so as to make them accord with the ancient division of the borough. (p)
I. THE NEW CORPORATIONS.
The corporation of each borough shall consist of a mayor, aldermen, councillors and burgesses; of which the mayor, aldermen and councillors, shall constitute what is termed the council. The style or name of the corporate body shall be “ The Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of
(f) Sect. 5.
(g) Sect. 3.
Burgesses.] All male persons, of full age on the last day of August in any year, who shall have occupied any house, warehouse, counting-house or shop within the borough, during that year and the whole of the two preceding years, and during that time shall also have been an inhabitant householder within the borough or within seven miles of it, and shall during the whole of the time be rated to the poor for the premises so occupied by him in such borough, and shall have paid all such rates and all borough rates payable by him, except those payable within six months previous to the said last day of August: such persons (and none others), (2) being duly enrolled, shall be burgesses of that borough. (?) Aliens however shall not be enrolled as burgesses ; nor shall any person, who shall have received parochial relief or other alıns, or any pension or charitable allowance from any fund entrusted to the charitable trustees of the borough. (8) And if such occupier be not rated to the poor, he may claim to be so, whether his landlord be so rated or not, and on his paying or tendering the amount of the last rate, the overseer shall put his name on the rate book. (t) Also, where such house, warehouse, counting-house or shop, shall come to any man by descent, marriage, marriage settlement, devise, or by promotion to a benefice or office, he may reckon the occupancy and rating of the person from whom he derives it, or whom he succeeds, as his, and be enrolled a burgess accordingly. (u)
On the 7th November in this year, and on the 5th September in every subsequent year, the overseers of the
every parish within the borough shall make out a list (to be named “ The Burgess List”) of all those persons, who are entitled to be burgesses in respect of property within the parish, and deliver such list to the town clerk, who shall cause copies of the same to be printed, and given to any person requiring the same. (w) Any person omitted in such lists, and claiming to have his name inserted, may give notice thereof to the town clerk; or any person included in the lists, may object to any other person in them, as not being enitled to be a burgess; and the town clerk shall make out a list of the claims and objections.(x). These claims and objections shall be considered, and the lists revised, in the first year by Barristers appointed for the purpose, (y) and in the second and every subsequent year by the mayor and two assessors. (%) The revised lists are then to be kept, and copied into a book, by the town clerk, which book shall be “The Burgess Roll” of the burgesses entitled to vote; (a) and copies shall be printed, and delivered to all persons applying
(9) Sect. 13.
Sect. 9. (s) Id. and see Sect. 10.
Sect. 11. (1) Sect. 12.
(w) Sect. 15, and see ss. 16. 24. (2) Sect. 17.
(y) Sect. 20, and see s. 42. Sect. 18, and see ss. 19.21. Sect. 22.
for them. (6) In boroughs divided into wards, the burgess roll shall be made out in lists, (to be named “ The Ward Lists”) containing the names of the burgesses in the respective wards. (c) So in such boroughs, such burgess, in voting for councillors or assessors, shall vote in that ward, in which it appears from the burgess roll his property is situated ; and if he have property in two or more wards, still he shall have but one vote. (d) Burgesses taking bribes for voting or forbearing to vote, are liable to a penalty of 501. and disabled from afterwards voting. (e)
The burgesses elect the councillors, assessors and auditors.
Councillors.] The councillors are elected by the burgesses ; (f) the number for each borough is regulated by the schedules A. and B. annexed to this Act ; (g) and in boroughs divided into wards, a certain number of councillors shall be elected for each ward, which number shall in each case be determined and settled by the Revising Barristers. (h) They are to be elected from those who are entitled to be upon the burgess list, having a certain property, and not being in holy orders, or dissenting clergymen, not holding office or place of profit under the council of the borough, and not interested either by themselves or partners in any contract or employment under such council. (i) The amount of property required as a qualification, is regulated thus : in all boroughs divided into four wards or more, each councillor must either have real or personal property to the amount of 10001., or be rated to the poor of the borough upon an annual value of not less than 30l.; or in boroughs divided into less than four wards, or not divided into wards, he must either have real or personal property to the amount of 5001., or be rated to the relief of the poor of the borough upon an annual value of not less than 151. (k)
The first election of councillors is to be on the 26th December 1835; (l) and afterwards, on the 1st November in every year, one third of the councillors shall go out of office, and either others elected in their stead, or the same re-elected. (m) So, in boroughs divided into wards, the councillors for each ward shall be elected by the burgesses of that ward ; and afterwards one third of the councillors of each ward shall annually go out of office, and others be elected or the same re-elected, in like manner. (n) And in the case of an occasional vacancy, another councillor shall be elected to supply it, at such
(b) Sect. 23. (d) Sect. 45. (f) Sect. 29. (h) Sect. 41. (hi) Sect. 28. (m) Sect. 31.
(c) Sect. 45.
time as shall be appointed for that purpose by the mayor or the alderman of the ward ; (o) and the person so elected, shall hold his office until the time at which the person, in whose stead he was elected, would regularly have gone out of office. (p) In boroughs not divided into wards, the first election will be before the mayor (9), but in every subsequent year before the mayor and the assessors (r); in boroughs divided into wards, the first election shall be before the mayor or such other person as he shall appoint, and in every subsequent year shall be before one of the aldermen whom the councillors of the ward shall for that purpose annually nominate, and before two assessors. (s) The election shall commence at nine o'clock in the morning, and finally close at four o'clock in the afternoon of the same day. (t) As to the manner in which the election is to be conducted, see sect. 32 to 36. 43, 44. 46. If a councillor become bankrupt or insolvent, &c., or be absent for more than six months at any one time (except from illness), he shall cease to hold the office, and the same may thereupon be declared vacant. (u)
The councillors, upon being elected, must accept the office and sign a declaration of their acceptance thereof within five days, or pay a fine not exceeding 501. (x) Before they act in the execution of their office, they must make and subscribe a declaration as to their qualification, and of their acceptance of the office ; (y) and if any person shall act as councillor before he shall have made and subscribed such declaration, or shall not be qualified at the time he makes it, or shall act as councillor after he ceases to be qualified, he shall forfeit a penalty of 501. (x)
The councillors, together with the mayor and aldermen, constitute the council of the borough. (a)
Aldermen.] The number of aldermen shall be one-third of the number of councillors for the same borough. (b) On the 31st December, 1835, the first election for aldermen shall take place; (c) and on the 9th November, 1838, and in every third year afterwards, one-half the aldermen shall go out of office, and others be elected in their stead, or the same reelected. (d) And in the case of an occasional vacancy, another alderman shall be elected to supply it, at such time as shall be appointed for that purpose by the mayor; and he shall hold the office until the time when the person in whose stead he